It’s election season here in Guelph! The nominations are open for this fall’s Municipal Election, and interested residents are filing their papers to run for positions as mayor, for city council and for a spot on one of the local school boards. Each week, this space will break down who’s new to the race, who’s running again, and where we’re still waiting for someone to show an interest!
The local school board races are finally heating up now with less than a month till the close of nominations.
Martha MacNeil filed her papers this week to run again as one of the trustees representing Wards 1 and 5 in Guelph for the Upper Grand District School Board. MacNeil was the chair of the board for the first two years of this term, and has served as a trustee since 2014. MacNeil’s wardmate Mark Bailey announced his intention to retire from the board last month.
For the French Catholic school system, Geneviève Grenier also filed her nomination papers this week to return as the Dufferin, Peel and Wellington representative for Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir. Grenier was first elected in 2014 and was then re-elected in 2018.
A new candidate emerged this week to fill that vacant spot in Ward 1 and 5 in the Upper Grand School Board, and his name is Paul Nichols. According to LinkedIn, Nichols works in management at RBC in Toronto and was involved in a few community groups when he and his family lived in the city. On his website, Nichols says that he was inspired to run due to the lack of candidates stepping forward, and a lack of public engagement in the provincial election.
The second new candidate this week is Paul Bertrand, who has become the fourth person to enter the race in Ward 3 where there is one vacant seat after Councillor June Hofland announced that she was stepping down after four terms last month. Bertrand hasn’t released a campaign website yet, but when you Google the name he appears to be a local realtor and the head of Bertrand & Partners Realty Group, which handles home sales around Guelph and across the region.
As of today, we’re just over 90 days until Election Day, and 26 days until the close of nominations.
So far no one has come forward to run for one of the four Guelph seats on the Wellington Catholic District School Board, and we’re still on “Billings Watch” because Ward 4 Councillor Christine Billings is still mum on whether or not she’ll run for re-election this fall. She’s the last member of the current city council to announce her intentions for the fall.
The deadline for applying to run for mayor, city council, or any of the school board positions is August 19 at 2 pm. Election Day is October 24.